Deadly Movies | Connections
The surname Loomis has unwillingly become the name of choice in slasher films and, like so many Deadly Movies connections, it can be traced back to the master’s Psycho (1960). Sam Loomis, played by John Gavin, was Marian Crane’s boyfriend, hopelessly searching The Bates Motel for clues to the whereabouts of his AWOL girlfriend. The Loomis family would return to the Psycho universe in Psycho 2 (1983). This time Sam’s widow Lila Loomis (Marian’s sister no less, now a Loomis) and daughter Mary Loomis turn up to exact some bitchin Loomis revenge on Norman.
John Carpenter’s 1979 Halloween utilised elements of Psycho to create a template that would become the modern slasher blueprint, but this wasn’t all he borrowed. He also grabbed his leading lady from Psycho stock, Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Janet Leigh (Marian Crane) and he directly borrowed a character name, Sam Loomis. Although rather than the grieving boyfriend, his Loomis was a child psychologist and obsessive nemesis to serial killer Michael Myers. Like Psycho before it, one film in a franchise is never enough for a Loomis. Dr Sam Loomis would return to Halloween in four more films and two remakes. It’s also worth noting that the character of Annie Brackett is played by Nancy Loomis.
Then it would be the turn of another horror legend, Wes Craven, creator of horror cornerstones The Last House on The Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). In 1996 Craven’s Scream would reference and parody the forefathers of horror, especially Halloween of which both score and movie feature directly in the film, as does the name Loomis. Here however Loomis is on the wrong side of the knife handle. Billy Loomis is the mastermind behind the ‘Ghost Face’ killings, while his mother Mrs Loomis (going all Mrs Voorhees) would take up the knife and mask in Scream 2 (1997). Although the Loomis’s would get name checks in Scream 3 (2000) and Scream 4 (2011) no actual family members reappear.
50 years, 12 films, 8 actors, 6 characters, 1 surname
Sam Loomis (John Gavin, ‘Psycho’ 1960)
Lila Loomis (Vira Miles, ‘Psycho 2′ 1983)
Mary Loomis (Meg Tilly, ‘Psycho 2′ 1983)
Sam Loomis (Viggo Mortensen, ‘Psycho’ 1998)
Dr Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence, ‘Halloween’ 1978, ‘Halloween 2′ 1981, ‘Halloween 4′ 1988, ‘Halloween 5′ 1989, ‘Halloween The Curse of Michael Myers’ 1995)
Dr Sam Loomis (Malcome McDowell, ‘Halloween’ 2007, ‘Halloween 2′ 2009)
Billy Loomis (Skreet Ulrich, ‘Scream’ 1996)
Mrs Loomis (Laurie Metcalf, ‘Scream 2′ 1997)